CHINA AND SAUDI ARABIA BUILD ONE OF THE MOST LEGENDARY SOVIET - ERA COMPANY GIANT AIRCRAFT ANTONOV AN- 225 MRIYA WITH UKRAIN'S COMPANY.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya (Ukrainian: (dream or inspiration), is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft that was designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukrainian SSR within the Soviet Union during the 1980s. It is powered by six turbofan engines and is the longest and heaviest aircraft ever built, with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes (710 short tons). It also has the largest wingspan of any aircraft in operational service. The single example built has the Ukrainian civil registration UR-82060. A second airframe with a slightly different configuration was partially built. Its construction was halted in 1994 because of lack of funding and interest, but revived briefly in 2009, bringing it to 60%-70% completion.On 30 August 2016, Antonov agreed to complete the second airframe for Aerospace Industry Corporation of China.
Saudi Arabia and Ukraine’s Antonov aircraft company are to build transport planes for military and civilian use in a deal strengthening the kingdom’s drive to develop a domestic military industry. The state-backed King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) said it had signed an agreement with Antonov to produce the AN-32 aircraft.Antonov said in a separate statement a modernized version of the AN-32 would be designed jointly and then produced in Saudi Arabia, which would own the blueprints for the model.During the Soviet period Ukraine was a distant second to Russia in terms aerospace system design bureaus. While the major aircraft, helicopter and missile design centers were almost all located in Moscow, the Ukrainian capital of Kiev was home to only one aircraft design bureau–Antonov. This disparity was reflected throughout the aerospace industry, with many of the developmental facilities for aircraft, missiles, radars, etc. concentrated in Moscow and only a few major defense development facilities located in Kiev.The real capability that was resident in Ukraine was an extensive network of overhaul and repair plants. Many of these repair facilities soon began looking at the market opportunities presented by the considerable number of former Soviet-era aircraft, air defense systems and radars used by neighboring states and other former clients of the Soviet Union’s military assistance programs.What they soon came to realize was that Russian firms were “fairly proficient at producing new models of weapon systems and aircraft. But those same Russian firms were not very well organized to be able to offer their existing customers upgrade options for products sold in years past,” said a Ukrainian aerospace executive who spoke to AIN on condition of anonymity.Ukrainian firms have therefore made it their goal to improve on the basic designs originally developed in the Soviet period, to the point where the improvements that they are offering are functional equivalents to next-generation models of these aircraft and military systems.
World’s Largest Aircraft: Antonov An-225 Mriya.Bigger than a Boeing 747 and Airbus A380, longer and heavier than the Hughes H-4 “Spruce Goose”, The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft developed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the Ukraine and stands as the largest aircraft in the world.Known for its immense carrying capability, the An-225 can carry 550,000 lbs. internally or 440,000 lbs. on the upper fuselage. A behemoth with the sole mission to carry cargo, the An-225 requires six turbofan engines to keep its payload in the air.
China is planning to build two giant Antonov An-225 aircraft in Chengdu and Shaanxi. Measuring 84 meters in length with an 88.4m wingspan, this massive plane can carry 640 tons, and holds the world record for being the longest and heaviest aircraft built since it came into service in 1988.The decision to assemble two of these six-engine monsters is part of an agreement hammered out last year by the Ukraine’s Antonov Company and the state-owned Aerospace Industry Corp of China or AICC.China and the Ukraine have had a close relationship when it comes to key technology. In the late 1990s, the People’s Liberation Army bought the scrapped hull of the Soviet-made heavy cruiser, the Varyag, before renaming it the Liaoning and turning it into the Chinese Navy’s first aircraft carrier.Now, according to media outlets CCTV and Sino Military, China will assemble two An-225 aircraft under the license agreement signed with Kiev last year.Back in 2016, Antonov announced they would complete the second airframe for AICC as a prelude to major production of the aircraft in China. It now plans to assemble a second airframe, according to reports.The Ukrainian aircraft builder Antonov, one of the most legendary Soviet-era companies, nearly went extinct following the Russian invasion of Crimea. The Kremlin, the firm’s main customer, suddenly became non grata.They had such a history together. Because of the Soviet Union, in the 1980s Antonov designed the largest airplane in the world — the An-225 Mriya or “dream,” of which only one currently exists in flying order.The sole operating An-225 serves as a commercial cargo carrier hauling everything from super-heavy generators to turbine blades and oil machinery. Even more interesting, Antonov initially designed the plane to transport a reusable space shuttle on its back.Now China wants to build one and possibly others.Kiev and Beijing signed a cooperation agreement to complete a second, unfinished An-225 and deliver it to the Aerospace Industry Corporation of China. “The second stage organization of the joint series production of the An-225 in China under licence,” Antonov announced in a press release.“In addition to funding, Ukraine will be guaranteed international cooperation and work in conjunction with global industrial majors who may join this project,” the company added.
The Dubai Airshow 2017 features the official appearance of the Antonov (AN-132) aircraft, which was manufactured and developed by the King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), the Taqnia Aeronautics Co. and Ukraine’s Antonov.The aircraft is among 160 of the latest commercial, business and military aircrafts.The airshow was opened by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, vice president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai.Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Lt. Gen. Mohammed Abdullah Al-Ayash visited the Saudi-Ukrainian Antonov AN-132 aircraft and was briefed on its participation at the airshow by Mohammed Ayesh, director of transport aircraft management at Taqnia.The participation of this aircraft in the show is an important step to help promote the aircraft locally, regionally and globally.
The firm’s main customer, suddenly became non grata.They had such a history together. Because of the Soviet Union, in the 1980s Antonov designed the largest airplane in the world the An-225 Mriya or “dream,” of which only one currently exists in flying order.The An-225 has the longest wingspan in the world "290 feet" and is just generally a beast of an airplane. It doesn’t have the longest wingspan in history, which belongs to the H-4 Hercules or “Spruce Goose.” But it is theheaviest plane in history.The one existing An-225 first flew in 1988. But with the cancellation of the Buran shuttle program in 1993, Ukraine mothballed the second plane while it was under construction. Antonov will complete this second plane and deliver it to China.And the company just released pictures of the second plane’s fuselage in its Kiev factory.Mriya can lift such loads because of six ZMKB Progress D-18 turbofan engines capable of producing 51,600 pounds of thrust … each.The plane packs 32 wheels (the A380 has 22) and can fly at a cruising speed of nearly 500 miles per hour with a maximum range of around 9,500 miles without subtracting for tonnage added inside Mriya’s enormous hold.But the An-225 is not just an aircraft it’s a business. And Ukraine’s aircraft industry is desperate for customers.Antonov, a formerly Soviet company, became part of an independent Ukraine in 1991. But despite the collapse of the USSR, the company carried on much as it had before, designing rugged transport planes for Russia and other countries but mainly Russia.The company designed planes, and did not build them. However, Antonov dipped into manufacturing in 2009, and started building passenger jets for customers including Cuba and North Korea.
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